MANCHESTER, England – As Manchester United's gamers trailed at halftime, 2-0 towards Everton, they disappeared into the Previous Trafford tunnel to a refrain of “Viva Garnacho” coming from followers within the Stretford Finish. Supervisor Erik ten Hag adopted together with his traditional stony expression, but it surely wouldn't be a shock if he was singing in his head.

After per week which noticed stress mount on the Dutch supervisor, Alejandro Garnacho received two first-half penalties – transformed by Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford – after drawing James Tarkowski after which Ben Godfrey into clumsy challenges to assist United to a a lot wanted victory. within the race to qualify for subsequent season's Champions League.

“I believe the youngsters did an excellent switch of the sport plan,” Ten Hag mentioned afterward. “Falling [deeper] Bruno and Scott [McTominay] after which he’s raced behind by Garnacho and Rashford. We look forward to the excessive press from Everton, with their double six goes to our double six after which we create areas on the again. I used to be proud of that and from there we scored the objectives, the penalties.”

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Ten Hag continues to be on a tightrope as United supervisor, having landed his first Premier League win in three video games, but when he survives the summer season, it is going to be partly all the way down to Garnacho. Not solely is the 19-year-old their most prolific attacking participant, he can even level to the Argentine winger's emergence as one of many nice achievements of his time at Previous Trafford.

After a largely disappointing marketing campaign that noticed United sixth within the desk, the Ten Hag want to complete the season strongly whereas additionally convincing new minority proprietor Sir Jim Ratcliffe that he’s the precise man for the job long-term. Garnacho is essential to each. His contribution towards Everton saved United from one other embarrassing afternoon and – probably – saved Ten Hag from having one other awkward dialog with Ratcliffe.

“It's progressing very nicely and we're more than happy with it,” mentioned Ten Hag. “His contribution right now was big, his runs, his dribbles. It's additionally engaging for the viewers, clearly we wish to present one thing. I believe the penalties deserved. If he can hold the eye and put the precise effort – typically for younger gamers it’s tough. Now we have our work to do. While you hold this focus, you enhance from recreation to recreation. Within the week that you simply win your recreation, you need to be punctual.”

Garnacho, nonetheless, can’t doc all of the cracks on this United workforce and regardless of Everton arriving on the again of a 10-match Premier League winless run, they nonetheless managed to reveal some acquainted frailties.

A criticism of United this season is that they concede too many pictures, and after the primary 45 minutes, Everton managed 11. Dwight McNeil twice flashed efforts previous the put up, and the half-time rating would have been 2-1 as a substitute of two. -0 if Raphaël Varane had not blocked his third effort of the half simply earlier than the break.

United's poor begin – which noticed them give Amadou Onana an opportunity simply two minutes after kick-off – was characterised by midfielder Casemiro, who gave up possession eight instances within the first 25 minutes alone. You could possibly get away with that towards an Everton facet which are among the many lowest scorers within the league, however in all probability not towards Liverpool, who come to Previous Trafford subsequent weekend. By the top, Everton had registered 23 pictures heading in the right direction to make it 134 which United have confronted of their final six league video games alone.

“If you happen to see his xG [expected goals] it’s not that top [1.51] and ours is way greater [3.12]”mentioned Ten Hag, when requested whether it is sustainable to face greater than 20 pictures for every match (though two penalties helped United's determine a bit). “Now we have gamers who really feel comfy defending low. However you need to be disciplined and you need to incorporate very nicely.

“They’re low-quality probabilities. You see the probabilities, they’d some, even I believe the best way we defended the set performs was excellent. We had been actually organized and we had been centered, everybody did their job. There have been one or two seconds phases the place they’d some alternatives, however total we did fairly nicely.”

For all Ten Hag's insistence that it doesn't matter what number of pictures the opposition have, Liverpool will likely be pleased to see what number of probabilities Everton have created forward of their FA Cup quarter-final.

United hope to have striker Rasmus Højlund obtainable to face Jurgen Klopp's facet, however his potential return won’t come on the expense of Garnacho. The winger has not missed a recreation for the reason that derby defeat to Manchester Metropolis in October and with the sport towards Everton lastly received, he was substituted with seven minutes to go. Any relaxation is valuable for one among Ten Hag's most necessary gamers forward of a collection of video games between now and the top of the season that may play a giant position in deciding Ten Hag's future.

Named Man of the Match, Garnacho needed to keep on the pitch after the ultimate whistle to satisfy his media duties. When he lastly left, he went to a standing ovation from the supporters who had stayed behind and to extra chants of “Viva Garnacho”.

{The teenager} retains United's Champions League hopes alive, in addition to Ten Hag's hopes of being allowed to remain on as supervisor.

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